We’ve recently conducted a survey of 1000 UK parents into the topic of fever phobia, with some surprising results. Many parents are still concerned that their child’s fever can cause some serious health problems.

The survey revealed that fever phobia is still rife with new and experienced parents, with many of us turning to the medicine cabinet or doctor straight away and often without cause.

Over 50% of parents lower their child’s temperature before it reached a reading of 38.5oC – the level most doctors recommend lowering a child’s temperature at(1).

Many do so because they worry that a fever can cause seizures, brain damage or even death(2). In fact, fever is usually a sign that a child is suffering from a viral or bacterial infection, and while sometimes uncomfortable for your little one, it is a sign of a healthy immune system. A fever makes it harder for bacteria and viruses to survive and it can play an important part in your child recovering from an infection.

Over 40% of parents turn to medication – such as paracetamol or ibuprofen – as the first port of call when their child is suffering from a fever(3).

However, if you lower a temperature too early, it can actually lengthen your child’s illness as it stops the body naturally fighting the infection. But its also important to note that if your child is in discomfort and suffering from a high temperature over 38.5oC then you should give medication to try and bring their temperature down(4).

Over 50% of parents are willing to wake their sick child to take a temperature reading(5).

More than half of us check our little one’s temperature every hour (or more frenquently!) during the night. This can lead to a child becoming more distressed through broken sleep as well as becoming more anxious.

Tackling fever phobia

We’ve tackled fever phobia head on, with the development of our range of thermometers which will help you to measure your child’s temperature comfortably and accurately. We’ve developed new cutting-edge features including Age Precision® technology with the ThermoScan® 7, and accurate touch and no touch modes with its No touch + forehead thermometer to help you to precisely monitor your child’s temperature without having to wake them up.

1021 UK parents were surveyed as part of Braun’s fever phobia survey. Survey was conducted by Research Now in the UK on 13th May 2015.

(1) Survey of 1021 parents found that 564 start to lower their child’s temperature between 37.5-38.5°C. Survey conducted by Research Now in the UK on 13th May 2015. 92% of doctors recommend lowering a child’s temperature through medication between 38-40°C. Physicians’, nurses’, and parents’ attitudes to and knowledge about fever in early childhood. M Sarrel, H A Cohen, E Kahan. Patient Education and Counseling 46 (2002) 61-65

(2) Crocetti M., Moghbeli N., Serwint J. Fever phobia revisited: have parental misconceptions about fever changed in 20 years? Pediatrics. 2001 Jun;107(6):1241-6.

(3) Survey of 1021 parents found that 254 parents administrate medication when their child is suffering from a temperature lower than 38.5°C. Survey conducted by Research Now in the UK on 13th May 2015

(4) 92% of doctors recommend lowering a child’s temperature through medication between 38-40°C. Physicians’, nurses’, and parents’ attitudes to and knowledge`

(5) https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/fever-phobia/